Who is considered a carer?
A carer is defined as anyone who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.
It’s likely that every one of us will have caring responsibilities at some time in our lives. Many carers juggle their caring responsibilities with work, study and other family commitments. Some, in particular younger carers, are often not known to be carers. Sometimes they don’t tell relatives, friends or health and care professionals about their responsibilities because of a fear of separation, guilt, pride or other reasons.
The sort of roles and responsibilities that carers provide varies widely. It can range from help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed and personal care such as bathing, to emotional support such as helping someone cope with the symptoms of a mental illness.
To find out more visit NHS: Who is considered a carer?
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Let your personal tutor know your situation. If you do have difficulties later in the academic session with commitments outside of university, they will be aware and can help you as best they can.
Tutors may be able to arrange for missed lecture notes to be forwarded to you, they may arrange a time for you discuss work you have missed with appropriate staff and they may have information on who else can help you within the university.
Pastoral, mental health & welfare
- You can book an appointment to talk to someone in Advice Services if you need assistance or just a listening ear. We have specialist advisers who are experienced in helping students with caring responsibilities.
- If you are also a mature student (21 or over on the first day of your studies) they you should also look at our information for Mature Students.
- King's Counselling & Mental Health Support Service is available to support your mental health, and where you can speak to a member of the team confidentially. To find out more about this service please read How can the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service help me?
- The Chaplains are available across the university for practical and spiritual support, for those of all faiths and none. Find out more in How can the Chaplaincy support me?
If you have a partner (including a partner of the same sex) or another adult, usually a member of your family, who depends on you financially, you may be eligible for the Adult Dependants’ Grant. How much you get depends on your income and that of your adult dependants.
You may be able to claim additional financial support through the social security system. The criteria for who is eligible and how much support you could receive is complex, so please contact Money & Housing Advice to talk through this with a specialist adviser.
Community & peer support
It is important to find a support network, and one of the best places for this is with your fellow students. There are several ways you can get in touch and get to know your peers, including making sure you join any chat groups or societies within your faculty.
Let the Advice & Guidance Team know that you are a parent or carer by completing the online registration form at the Register as a Student Parent or Carer website. This will allow us to keep you up to date with relevant events, and to inform you of useful information to help you in your studies and student life.
You may also find these helpful:
The KCL Student Union runs the Family Network, to represent and support student parents/guardians, carers and those with caring responsibilities.
You may also like to follow the King's Student Parents group on Facebook for the latest on the joined up KCLSU Student Parents and Carers Network.
We understand that students with caring responsibilities cannot always make it into central London for events and support groups, but still need a place to chat to other students with similar responsibilities.
The support you can provide each other is invaluable, so we have created an online discussion board within KEATS. Search for 'Student Services' to join the group.
The Advice and Guidance Team put on events focused towards students with caring responsibilities to bring you together so you can get to know each other. If you’re a parent, bring your children into university so they can see where you spend your days, and to give you a bit of break from your studies.
Register as a Student Parent or Carer
If you register your details here, then we can make sure that you are kept up to date with relevant information around money, support and relevant events.
Your information will be processed in accordance with King's College London Core Privacy Notice.
Organisations outside King’s offering support
Time out for caring
Can I take time out to for my caring responsibilities?
It is common for students to need to take time out to care for friends, partners or family. If you think this applies to you, then we encourage you to speak to a member of your academic department and also get in touch with our advisers in the Money & Housing Advice team so that you are supported through this process.
Depending on what may be going on in your life, you may be unsure about taking a break and what that might mean. To help guide you in your decision making, please read our article I'm not sure if I should leave my course or just take a break.
If you're looking for family-friendly accommodation, check out Where can I look for family-friendly student accommodation?